Aberdeen FC have lost a court battle with a Spanish sherry-maker, Sandeman over the right to call their brand of Scotch whisky the ‘Dons Dram’ – because Sandeman owns the copyright.
Aberdeen FC, nicknamed The Dons, launched the blended whisky and applied to register the name Dons Dram as a trademark to protect its brand, however, Sandeman objected.
Sandeman produce a Spanish sherry called ‘Don Fino’ and their lawyers said the application overlapped with their registered trademark and people could confuse the two businesses. They claimed that Aberdeen could benefit from this confusion, and called for their application to be blocked.
The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO), who rule on trademark disputes, found in Sandeman’s favour after ruling that the vast majority of the public wouldn’t be aware of Aberdeen’s nickname.
Aberdeen FC have been ordered to pay Sandeman £1,500 in legal costs following the conclusion of the hearing.
The ruling means Aberdeen FC will have to change the name of their whisky or apply to Sandeman for permission to use it.
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